Monday, July 23, 2007

The Top 10 Tips for Gaining Size & Strength

I'm gonna keep it short and sweet today and get your training week kicked off right. Follow the tips below and you are guaranteed to get big and strong while leaving everyone else in the gym wondering what they're doing wrong and asking you what you're on.

1. Train no more than three to four days per week. Doing so is not only not necessary but can rapidly lead to over-training, especially if you are doing other physical activities on a regular basis.

2. Train for 30-45 minutes max and do no more than twenty total sets per workout. If you can't get the job done in that time frame you are half assing it. On top of that, results are greatest when energy and mental focus are high. That is during the first 30-45 minutes of your workout.

3. Lift heavy and use big, basic compound exercises. Squats, deadlifts, military presses and chin ups should always be the bread and butter of your training programs.

4. Always keep a training journal and constantly try to get stronger and lift heavier and heavier weights. Progressive overload is the most basic principle in weight training. Ignore it and you will get nowhere. If you are benching 225 right now, you better be benching 315 by this time next year if you want to grow.

5. Utilize a multitude of rep ranges and target all fiber types and maximize the different types of hypertrophy. Reps from 1-20 should be used to target both fast twitch and slow twitch fibers.

6. Change your program every 3-4 weeks. If you have been lifting for several years, this may need to be done every two weeks because you will adapt more rapidly to the same stimulus.

7. Eat like your life depends on it. Force feed yourself if you have to and be sure to time your carbs correctly, meaning around training and at breakfast, while cutting them out at night.

8. Sleep 8-10 hours per day and take naps if at all possible. Sleep is when you recover and grow, without it you're in trouble.

9. Take contrast showers or baths after training, stretch, ice, use foam rollers and whatever else you can think of to help you recover faster.

10. And lastly, but maybe most importantly, find a good training partner and a good environment to train in; it will make all the difference in the world in your progress.

For more easy to use mass building tips click HERE now.


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-Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Strength Coach, Toronto, Canada

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